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postgraduate thesis: Teachers as tutors : shadow education market dynamics in Georgia

TitleTeachers as tutors : shadow education market dynamics in Georgia
Authors
Issue Date2016
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Kobakhidze, M. N.. (2016). Teachers as tutors : shadow education market dynamics in Georgia. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractThis qualitative study, situated in the context of post-Soviet Georgia, examined ways in which teachers’ ideals about professionalism, community values, religion-informed beliefs and social obligations shaped their economic decisions in the informal shadow education market. The study is informed by theories of market in economic sociology and anthropology. It primarily draws on the concepts of “moral embeddedness” (Beckert, 2005) and “social embeddedness” (Granovetter, 1985). Few studies – in Georgia or elsewhere – have focused on teachers’perspectives on shadow education; and none has looked at teachers as tutors’economic decisions and behaviors in the market. Prior research conducted in Georgia, chiefly through quantitative surveys, focused on the scale and major drivers of the phenomenon and did not investigate how teachers make sense of their experiences, mixed roles, and identities. This study draws on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 68 schoolteachers, 10 school principals, 10 parents and 8 policy-makers in different parts of Georgia in 2013-2014. It is also informed by document analysis and four parallel observations of teachers’ teaching in classrooms and tutoring settings. Findings revealed that teacher professional identity was the site of struggle between two related but distinct professional identities of a teacher and a tutor at the same time. Tensions between two identities often resulted in moral struggles. Findings demonstrated that despite many changes in teacher policies in Georgia, teachers’ beliefs and values still reflected Soviet legacies of teacher professionalism and identity. Findings also illuminated the ways in which the teachers tried to negotiate the consequences of living in a country which had experienced rapid socio-economic transformations after the break-up of the Soviet Union. Findings also demonstrated that although the teachers’ major interest in private tutoring was economic, teachers’ actions often included activities that contradicted with self-interest i.e. profit-making. Through widespread practices of fee-free and discounted tutoring many teachers demonstrated non-materialistic value orientations. The analysis of the market dynamics showed some of the ways in which the economic logic of market - individuals pursuing self-interest - was often compromised by moralities and social norms. The study provides an alternative conceptualization of teachers’ behaviors in the education market, and it is relevant in the context of globalization (which is often considered to promote the instrumental values of competition and self-interest), because it questions some of the basic assumptions that the predominant neoliberal discourse promotes worldwide (cf. Rizvi, 2007; Ball, 2012; De Lissovoy, 2014). The study highlighted the complexity of shadow education market in which different and often conflicting values (e.g. morality and corrupted practices) coexisted. This research provides a new framework for the exploration of the embeddedness of the shadow education market in social relations, cultural norms and moralities that can serve as a basis for future studies. It offers insights into significant implications of shadow education on teachers’ professional lives and for a society as a whole, which contributes both to the international scholarship on private tutoring and to the literature on economic sociology.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectTutors and tutoring - Georgia (Republic)
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/235887
HKU Library Item IDb5801636

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorKobakhidze, Magda Nutsa-
dc.date.accessioned2016-11-09T23:26:56Z-
dc.date.available2016-11-09T23:26:56Z-
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.identifier.citationKobakhidze, M. N.. (2016). Teachers as tutors : shadow education market dynamics in Georgia. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/235887-
dc.description.abstractThis qualitative study, situated in the context of post-Soviet Georgia, examined ways in which teachers’ ideals about professionalism, community values, religion-informed beliefs and social obligations shaped their economic decisions in the informal shadow education market. The study is informed by theories of market in economic sociology and anthropology. It primarily draws on the concepts of “moral embeddedness” (Beckert, 2005) and “social embeddedness” (Granovetter, 1985). Few studies – in Georgia or elsewhere – have focused on teachers’perspectives on shadow education; and none has looked at teachers as tutors’economic decisions and behaviors in the market. Prior research conducted in Georgia, chiefly through quantitative surveys, focused on the scale and major drivers of the phenomenon and did not investigate how teachers make sense of their experiences, mixed roles, and identities. This study draws on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 68 schoolteachers, 10 school principals, 10 parents and 8 policy-makers in different parts of Georgia in 2013-2014. It is also informed by document analysis and four parallel observations of teachers’ teaching in classrooms and tutoring settings. Findings revealed that teacher professional identity was the site of struggle between two related but distinct professional identities of a teacher and a tutor at the same time. Tensions between two identities often resulted in moral struggles. Findings demonstrated that despite many changes in teacher policies in Georgia, teachers’ beliefs and values still reflected Soviet legacies of teacher professionalism and identity. Findings also illuminated the ways in which the teachers tried to negotiate the consequences of living in a country which had experienced rapid socio-economic transformations after the break-up of the Soviet Union. Findings also demonstrated that although the teachers’ major interest in private tutoring was economic, teachers’ actions often included activities that contradicted with self-interest i.e. profit-making. Through widespread practices of fee-free and discounted tutoring many teachers demonstrated non-materialistic value orientations. The analysis of the market dynamics showed some of the ways in which the economic logic of market - individuals pursuing self-interest - was often compromised by moralities and social norms. The study provides an alternative conceptualization of teachers’ behaviors in the education market, and it is relevant in the context of globalization (which is often considered to promote the instrumental values of competition and self-interest), because it questions some of the basic assumptions that the predominant neoliberal discourse promotes worldwide (cf. Rizvi, 2007; Ball, 2012; De Lissovoy, 2014). The study highlighted the complexity of shadow education market in which different and often conflicting values (e.g. morality and corrupted practices) coexisted. This research provides a new framework for the exploration of the embeddedness of the shadow education market in social relations, cultural norms and moralities that can serve as a basis for future studies. It offers insights into significant implications of shadow education on teachers’ professional lives and for a society as a whole, which contributes both to the international scholarship on private tutoring and to the literature on economic sociology.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshTutors and tutoring - Georgia (Republic)-
dc.titleTeachers as tutors : shadow education market dynamics in Georgia-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5801636-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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